The Perfect Palette: Picking Kitchen Design Color Scheme

When dreaming up your ideal kitchen design, the color scheme might seem like a purely aesthetic choice. However, the hues you select for your cabinets, walls, counters, backsplash, and accents can have a major impact on how well the space functions. Beyond just appearance, the right kitchen colors can make the area feel larger, brighter, and more inviting.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Color Schemes

Trending Kitchen Paint Colors

As you evaluate color combinations for your kitchen, here are some key considerations to help you land on a palette that fulfills both form and function

Kitchen Size and Layout

A compact galley kitchen versus a spacious eat-in kitchen will call for very different color choices. The goal is to use color to enhance the dimensions you have to work with. For smaller kitchens, bright, light colors like white, off-white, or very pale pastels will keep things feeling open and airy. Stay away from deeper, bolder hues that can make things feel closed in.

However, if you have a large, open concept kitchen with high ceilings, you likely have more flexibility to incorporate darker, dramatic colors in your design. Still, strategically using lighter tones in one area and going darker in others can help delineate different functional zones like food prep versus dining.

Type of Cabinets and Countertops

Determine cabinet and counter materials early on, as this will impact the palette possibilities. For example, bright white painted cabinets pair best with crisp white countertops like quartz. Rich wood stain cabinets offer flexibility to go with neutral counters like granite, salt-and-pepper marble, or concrete.

Glass mosaic or brightly colored tile backsplashes also influence color coordination in a kitchen. As a general rule of thumb, limit yourself to 3 major colors in a single kitchen design to keep things feeling cohesive.

Personal Style and Taste

While resale value matters, ultimately you still have to love the finished kitchen on a personal level too. Think about the color families that appeal most to your own sensibilities and style personality. Do you gravitate toward airy, neutral palettes punctuated by bright pops of color via accessories and art? Or are you drawn to deep jewel tones and commanding contrasts?

The Most Popular Kitchen Color Scheme Trends

Kitchen design, like all interior decorating, goes through color fads and crazes. Some stand the test of time as classics, while others eventually fade out as daring statements. As you evaluate options for your own kitchen refresh, considering current trends can help narrow things down. Below are some of the most popular kitchen color schemes dominating design inspiration sites and renovation conversations now:

Bright and Neutral

This ever-classic combination will likely never go out of style. Crisp white cabinetry, soft grey walls, and accent colors like sky blue or chartreuse create a light, airy look. The neutral base keeps things flexible to layer on bolder accent shades that can change over time without a full redesign.

All-White Kitchens

The all-white kitchen will always feel fresh, clean, and contemporary. When done right, all-white color schemes sidestep sterile hospital cafeteria territory and instead feel like a dreamy, luxurious oasis. These spaces tend to dazzle with variations in materials and textures – a marble herringbone backsplash against super matte cabinet paint, polished nickel hardware on white lacquer drawers, etc.

Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

Two-tone kitchens offer more dimension than flat mono-color cabinetry. Popular combinations include deep blue or green lower cabinets topped with crisp white uppers, muted gray bases with bright white uppers, or contrasting wood stains to delineate cabinet zones.

Dark and Moody Palettes

On the other end of the brightness spectrum, deep, dramatic kitchen colors are also having a major moment after years of dominance by light and neutral schemes. Think inky navy blue cabinetry, hunter green backsplashes, or dark charcoal and black accents. The overall atmosphere is more intimate yet dazzling.

Color SchemeCharacteristicsProsCons
Bright and NeutralCrisp white cabinetry, soft grey walls, pops of color like pale blue or greenTimeless, flexible, allows for changing accent colorsCan feel sterile without texture variations
All-WhiteAll white cabinetry, walls, backsplashFeels clean, bright and contemporaryLack of contrast can flatten visual dimension
Two-Tone CabinetsDifferent base and upper cabinet colorsAdds dimension, delineates functional zonesMore limiting color coordinator
Dark and MoodyDeep jewel tones like navy and emeraldIntimate, dazzling, dramaticCan make kitchen feel closed in if small space

Choosing Your Kitchen Color Palette

Color Schemes In Kitchen Design

After reviewing popular kitchen color scheme trends, it’s time to narrow things down to the right combination of hues for your specific space. Here’s how to move from inspiration to implementation:

Determine Your Preferred Color Family

Do you want a warm, creamy kitchen with sand, biscuit, and terracotta tones? Or are you dreaming of a cool coastal kitchen awash in gradients of blue and green? Circle the descriptors that appeal most:

  • Warm (red, yellow, orange undertones) or cool (blue, green, purple undertones)
  • Bright, saturated hues or soft, muted shades
  • Monochromatic (shades of one color) or multicolor

You can also turn to psychology – do some reading on how different hues influence mood. For example yellow stimulates happiness and blue promotes productivity. Decide what kind of energy you want your kitchen to invite.

Use The Color Wheel

Once you’ve identified 1-2 colors you want as the basis for your scheme, refer to the color wheel for complementary hues that would coordinate beautifully together in a kitchen design.

Keep in mind warm colors like orange, red, and yellow pair best with other warm tones. Cooler shades like green, purple, and blue combine most naturally. Use bridging neutral shades like warm grays, cool whites/beiges between these color families.

Determine Color Variation

With your colors selected, do you want to use roughly equally throughout? Example, mint green painted cabinets, medium green marble backsplash, and sage green walls are harmonious but all the same intensity of green.

Or, identify a dominant color for cabinetry paired with sparing pops of accent colors via tile backsplash, light fixtures, bar stools etc. Generally best to stick with 3 colors max in any one kitchen.

Plan to Layer in More Color Later

Keep in mind that paint, cabinetry, counters, and flooring should be the more permanent neutral core of your color scheme. While open to tweaking down the road, these structural elements do require some demolition for changes.

Instead, use accent décor pieces with bolder hues to layer onto that neutral base over time – toss pillows, vases, soup tureens, framed art. This allows you flexibility as color trends change.

Key Takeaways for Choosing Your Kitchen Color Palette

Whether renovating a dated kitchen or designing a brand new space, establishing a unified and appealing color palette is one of the most important early decisions. As explored throughout this article, considerations range from practical constraints to style preferences and everything between.

To recap, start by auditing the existing dimensions and architecture that are fixed or expensive to alter – cabinetry, countertops, flooring. Work with those permanent structures instead of against them when conceptualizing color. Places like walls and decor offer flexibility later on if tastes change or trends cycle.

From there, reflect on the mood, atmosphere, and personality you hope to achieve through color in this hearth of the home. Do some deeper reading into color psychology and its emotional impact to help inform things like energy flow.

Finally, drawing from the most current trends covered here, allow popular combinations to inspire and influence your exploration of colors that work well together, but don’t be afraid to break away into more unorthodox territories!

For further guidance translating inspiration into actionable kitchen design, the team at Dreamcatcher Remodeling offers professional color consultations. Contact us today to schedule a visit and receive suggestions tailored exactly to your unique space, needs and preferences!

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